Although aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years, there are still many forms of medicine and therapies that are not yet incorporating the great uses of aromatherapy into their practice.
Massage therapy is one such practice that, in many cases has not tapped into all of the benefits that aromatherapy has to offer.
In ancient times cultures from around the world have used different forms of aromatherapy including the burning of incense or extracting oils from plants, herbs, and flowers.
Ancient people used aromatherapy mostly because they understood that their elements contained healing properties.
The term “aromatherapy” first originated in the late 1920s by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse was burned during a laboratory experiment.
Gattefosse applied lavender oil to his injury and was surprised to find that it did not only ease his pain, but the wound healed very quickly.
After this experience, he began a lifelong exploration of the healing properties of different essential oils and started calling this study “aromatherapy.”
When used in a massage practice and other ways, aromatherapy can be applied in three ways.
There can be a direct application to the skin, internal consumption or inhalation.
All of these scenarios take advantage of the essential oils properties and work together to create the aromatherapy experience.
Essential oils can serve many purposes and incorporating it into your massage practice may have significant benefits on the health and wellbeings of your clients. For a more in-depth article on how to use massage oils and how to read this guide here.
The elements of the oils travel through the body and nervous system until they reach the brain where there is a definite physiological and even psychological effect.
During direct application to the skin, the oils are absorbed into the lymphatic system so that they can then circulate throughout the bloodstream.
In the same way, when the oils are inhaled or ingested, they are quickly absorbed into the mucous membranes and then make their way into the bloodstream. Inhalation is one of the most profitable ways to use aromatherapy because it also uses the olfactory senses which sends more powerful messages and signals to the brain.
The use of inhalation can have a more dramatic effect on the client’s stress levels, blood pressure and even hormones.
So what are the best ways to utilize the benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy in your massage practice?
Ways to use essential oils and aromatherapy in your massage practice
Diffusing essential oils in a waiting area or even directly into the treatment rooms can quickly affect the mood and stress levels of not only clients but employees as well.
Diffusers are designed to slowly release the essential oil properties slowly into the atmosphere of the room at the desired strength. Small tea light wax burners can also perform virtually the same task.
During acupuncture therapy, essential oils can be placed onto acupuncture points before needling. You should, however, research your oils thoroughly before applying directly to the skin so that you are aware of which oils should be diluted before application. Some oils can burn or irritate skin in direct contact.
Essential oils can quickly be turned into an aromatherapy spray by simply placing a few drops of the oil into a spray bottle filled with water.
Many people enjoy making a combination of different oils to create a customized blend for specific effects. In general, eight to ten drops of essential oil works well in a one-ounce bottle.
Space spray can be used to spray over a patient before or during treatment, or the room can be sprayed in between treatments.
Essential oils are a great addition to your massage therapy tools to make the massage experience for your clients a truly memorable and treatment.
Adding essential oils to the body oil you currently use can also be done to make a normal massage treatment into something extraordinary.
Some research is useful to understand the different effects different oils can have on a client.
This can then help you better choose which oils and in what amount to mix with your oils or lotions to create the best massage lotion.